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Debug (2014)

Debug (2014)

Six young computer hackers, sent to work on a derelict spaceship, are forced to match wits with a vengeful artificial intelligence that would kill to be human.

The whole premise reminded me a bit of DOOM, or the Red Queen bit in Resident Evil, though this was way better than the former in all areas, and not so much like RE it really needs to be mentioned. Tough I'd be remiss to not convey any potential similarity that pops into my mind.

In unrelated impressions I was surprised to see Momoa here! Props. And I thought this'd be a worse movie than it was. Thought it'd be better too, occasionally, but they manage the atmosphere and building paranoia/fear masterfully. Also thought I already wrote up a review for this one but it's nowhere to be found right now so... strange kind of déjà vu. And potentially much shorter writing this time around since I don't really want to do that all again...

The actors here were good, the ending suitable for a dystopian sci-fi flick as such... and the highlight character (who I thought was an MMA fighter for some reason - either she has a look-alike or she's a good actor!) Jeananne Goossen carries the movie a fair share of the way.

Been reading reviews saying the atmosphere is the missing element here, but I don't see that flaw at all. It does however sometimes move a little slow. And the outside of the ship doesn't feel as well-done as it could've been.

Focus on the inside though. That's where you supposedly have your soul.

 rated 3.5/5: not bad at all

Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead (2008)

Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead (2008)

After their car breaks down in the desert, four friends try to find their way back to civilization while trying to escape Rusty Nail's bloody wrath.

Rusty Nails is a trucker. The main villain of this story. With a suitably dark voice for the role. With a somewhat psychotic personality. Also with an apparent and highly unnecessary need to torture and/or decapitate people with his truck. And when these four aforementioned teens actually steal his car, a 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle... well then you know they might be off to a bad start here...

The final scene where the truck goes off a cliff is suitable brutal, and the car's beautiful, Kyle Schmid and Nicki Aycox's acting in particular is too. Impressive ability to change with the story.

It's horror, it really is, and I love this dusty desert road drip vibe too, though the thing about just casually stealing a car in the first place ? Hmm? Really?! Only in America. I hope.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Jaws 3-D (1983)

Jaws 3-D (1983)

They really made a sea world for and out of this one! And it reminds me a bit of Cruel Jaws, which came after, and was seeing this now clearly a rip-off. But a well-done one that in some aspects probably surpassed the original.

They have the theme park too here, the sunken ship, the grenade and all... it's all very familiar. The latter was definitely a lot more fast-paced and gripping, while this one clearly had a much bigger budget. They had crowds here. Synchronized dolphin flips. A real underwater structure. Those bits were pretty cool. Suppose this might've been the one to inspire Deep Blue Sea too.

The 3D effects (two of them that are really obvious even if you aren't watching it in 3D) didn't stand the test of time all that well, but they must've been something out of this world at the time the movie came out, and I'm glad they got a happy ending for once too.

The movie overall feels a bit disconnected from the earlier two, but with a similar style, and mood, and girls and all that shizzle, and some black guys in higher positions for probable purpose of increased equality... I don't dislike progress but it just feels very clear here that's the only reason they were there. Could've played a more central role. Could've been involved with the final scenes, or rescue, or... you know what? They could've just omitted them too if they were just there to be culprits.

Then again I could've just not got stuck on this one observation in the first place. Why do I notice. What is color but a color. The road towards film (and anywhere else for that matter) diversity sure has been a bumpy one, and still is always so angled. Everyone's always wherever they are for a reason, with a role that appeals to people of particular groups, but not always because they're credible, or suitable, or good actors. I wish observations like this were never a thing; that they focused more on the product than on suitable breadth of racial distribution.

Never mind that tangent! If you liked the earlier Jaws you'll probably like this too, and enjoy the new setting, and they certainly made up for earlier shortcomings in regard to lacks of crowds. Observers as to whatever carnage is currently ongoing and what sense of desperation and danger need be conveyed. The more people are involved the bigger potential sacrifice and all too.

The desperation's real here. The shark wound looks real. There's a loose end with Lisa, though.

It's starting to feel a bit watered down this franchise... like they've got it but they've forgotten how to use it. The shark did look real, but you rarely get a sense it's actually in the same place as the swimmers. They cut to either one or the other, or you just see a fin, and the slow-mo shots of the glass cabin were shameful... but anyway. It was alright. I liked the water stunts. Could've probably been bigger; badder; better considering the budget but it's still worth a watch if you started this road. Of Jaws and all. Of these underwater movie franchises with beasts that clobber us like dolls; have water sports involved and all.

 rated 3/5: not bad

Team America: World Police (2004)

Team America: World Police (2004)

Popular Broadway actor Gary Johnston is recruited by the elite counter-terrorism organization Team America: World Police. As the world begins to crumble around him, he must battle with terrorists, celebrities and falling in love.

Didn't catch the aquarium bit last time I watched this! That was just masterful.

In addition to being a bizarre; violent; superficially somewhat mindless but really pretty deep and appreciably comical creatively crazy action movies from the makers of (I think?) South Park, it's also a movie with dolls. Puppets. With surprisingly lifelike eyes and mannerisms sometimes but mostly very clearly puppets. Musical touch. Genius. Crazy. Political. Cynical. Social. Liberal. With a sex scene that was actually tamer than I expected - was listening to a podcast that mentioned that and had to go back here and take a look... but that's not the reason you watch a movie like this is it?

It's for the unique; creative touch and plotline insanity, with political satire and a genius way of portraying it all (excessive puking excluded - I think I enjoyed that scene more last time) that lets them poke fun at pretty much anyone without repercussion, from Kim Jong-un to Alec Baldwin...

Though was Pearl Harbor really that bad? Gotta see that one again too...

 rated 4.5/5: almost awesome

Earthquake (2016)

Earthquake (2016)

Leninakan, Armenian SSR, USSR, 1988. After the devastating Spitak earthquake of December 7th, Konstantin Berezhnoy, a 50-year-old Russian, and Robert Melkonyan, a 28-year-old Armenian, work together to rescue the desperate survivors.

You need a movie like this at times.

To open your eyes. To remind you to live. To give you reason to appreciate what you have, take the chances you get, and never take anything for granted.

I thought I might get thrown off by the special effects, but no, they worked. They weren't perfect, but sometimes pompous, and fortunately most of the movie's real. Save for maybe the smoke and occasional top-down overviews of the carnage. The fires were nice...

The way character fates intertwine reminds me a little of Babel. Slight religious tone there too. At least for the old man.

They got the emotion down well, and the fact that it's based on a real story... man, surprisingly good.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Guns Girls And Gangsters (1959)

Guns Girls And Gangsters (1959)

In Las Vegas, a group of assorted criminals plans the robbery of an armored truck hauling casino money to the bank.

Lee Van Cleef, Mamie Van Doren and Gerald Mohr! The main trio of notabilities!

It could've been a good movie this one! If only the times weren't so different. If only the bad guys could win. If only making anything that wasn't a merit for making people good was a sin. In other words... propaganda. That's how it ends. That's what it feels like. The lesson to be learned here is that armored cars do their job well.

Feels like they could've probably run through some roadblocks if they wanted to, alas. The song and dance isn't as captivating as in say *I can't remember the title or actress now! Some particularly seducing movie from the 1920-30's, anyone?!* either, but it's not bad otherwise. Never mind how much mannerisms differed with the times (or do mind - and be fascinated), it's just unfortunate it comes across so angled, so simple; so outdated in just that way. Tech-wise. Plan-wise. Character-wise. Wise-wise?

They are ahead of their time.

 rated 2.5/5: almost not bad

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